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Which species will be our urban neighbours?

All over the world, people are moving out of rural areas, and cities are growing. What will be the impact on resident species that live in these cities? Which will be our new plant and animal neighbours, which will have to leave town, and what does that mean for us humans?

Entra's office building at Kristian Augusts gate 13
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Building with new thinking and old components

An old building at Tullinløkka in Oslo has set a new standard for reuse, consisting of components from other buildings – like concrete floor dividers from a government building. Building stock in Norway accounts for half of society’s total environmental impact. Thinking in new ways and reusing building components offers multiple gains.

An old doctor's mask and a book in a museum
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Quarantine and financial support for plagues were already in place in the 1600s

Plagues have ravaged Norway many times over the centuries. As early as 1625, the state took systematic action to prevent the plague from spreading. Isolation was a new idea that would prove to be effective. Strict restrictions were imposed on social gatherings, including limits on the number of people who could be present at weddings and funerals. Measures were also introduced to compensate the business community for the financial losses resulting from closures.

People with genetic map in background
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Twenty years of sequencing genes… for better or for worse

It’s been 20 years since the first draft sequence of the human genome was published in the journals Nature and Science. The result led then-President Bill Clinton to state that we are now learning the language in which life was written, and that “doctors will increasingly be able to cure diseases like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, diabetes, and cancer by attacking their genetic roots.”
Sequencing 30 000 genes has changed the world, but in a different way than expected.

Artist's impression of subsea oil and gas installation
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Simulation model may reduce the climate footprint of oil production

Future offshore oil and gas fields are most likely to be “satellite developments” that are less expensive and emit less greenhouse gases than other fields because they do not require new production platforms. An innovative Norwegian computational tool called “Slug Capturing 2” is now enabling the design of longer pipelines that will allow many more fields to be developed as satellites.

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Bats not a threat to public health, but important for ecosystems

Bats have received a lot of negative attention, but the chances are slim that the virus that causes COVID-19 was transmitted from bats to humans. The world needs bats – in ecosystems, for pollination and for seed dispersal. On top of that, they keep harmful insects in check around our homes, on farms and in cities.

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Thinking outside the box of fossils

During the time of Darwin, anthropogeny was the study of human origins. Its sub-discipline paleoanthropology has since taken over, which focuses on fossils found in dry parts of Africa. These fossils don’t tell us much about why or where humans actually evolved.

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Towards a sustainable term for sustainability

The concept of sustainability has long been incorporated into our collective vocabulary. The word is used in many contexts, including in the PR industry. If we are going to find a way out of the climate and environmental crisis, maybe it should be replaced?

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Water reservoirs save lives and create value

While there is considerable opposition to dams and reservoirs in the Western world, reservoirs built to store water during the rainy season so it can be used during the dry season can save lives and secure values when the rains fail.

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Trashing the ocean

Marine debris has become a big problem. But plastic and old fishing nets can be turned into a resource rather than being an environmental hazard.